Our daughter is 16 and does not date yet, but that does not stop boys from asking. Last week, she came to us to tell about this guy that had asked her on a date. I asked her what he wanted to do with his life and she said: “Music.” I was taken aback for […]
If you are like me and came from a traditional church background that included lots of hymns, you were probably taught at some point or another a style of congregational accompanying that roughly followed these rules. 1) In the right hand, add the tenor note to create a full chord and double the melody to create […]
I am going to do a series over the next several weeks on texture. For those that don’t know, when arrangers and writers refer to the term “texture,” we are referring to ideas of an arrangement outside of melody and harmony decisions. In other words, we are referring to decisions such as how to voice, […]
I mentioned voicing a few weeks ago in a blog post and that generated a lot of email so I want to talk about voicing today. I will cover what it is, why it is important, and a few general concepts that will help you start improving in this area. Voicing is a one of those ideas […]
A lot of you have asked me for information about the class I am taking at Berklee. It is called Reharmonization Techniques and that is what it is about: tons of different reharmonization strategies. Every week, there is a big project that is due on Sunday that involves working on a song or a few […]
I am playing a lot these days and one of the things I am working on is voicing. I spend a lot of time playing charts of voicings, drilling them until they become instinctive. It is not fun work; in fact, it is one of the most mundane things I know to do on the piano. But it is also very necessary.
In the last lesson, we talked about substituting a ii7 for a V7 chord. I got a few questions related to the voicing (where on the piano you actually play the notes in the chord). It is critical to understand the voicing because if you do not do it right, this substitution will not always […]
If you are following these lessons in order, you are now working on adding 7ths to your chords. I want you to keep working on that, but need to give you some other information that will help you. Many pianists want to know what chords I use, but they do not understand that the actual […]